Dropbox becomes a universal Windows app as Phone version grabs many new features

Microsoft's Windows 10 is only a few months out, but a few companies are already preparing for the realignment of the Microsoft ecosystem. One of those is Dropbox, the popular cloud storage service that many individuals and businesses – rely on day to day. If Microsoft wants to be competitive, it needs to be everywhere, and that includes its cloud rivalry.

Today, Dropbox is excited to announce that their Windows Phone and Windows offerings are now aligned as universal Windows apps. Not only do the apps share the same code, but it means the Windows Phone version finally brings parity by adding a beautiful bundle of new, highly requested features.

The update for phone should be live over the next few hours. Here is the full low-down of what is new and why you may want to take a look at using Dropbox.

Dropbox 2.0 for Windows Phone

  • Universal app
  • The app adapts properly to your screen size
  • Upload files other than photos
  • Select multiple files to upload
  • Download files directly to your device or SD card
  • Save or open files to and from Dropbox within other apps
  • Ability to select phone contacts when inviting people to a shared folder
  • Improved download speeds
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

Dropbox 2.0 for Windows 8.1

  • Create and manage Shared folders within the app
  • Added keyboard shortcuts to select all items (Ctrl+A) and to search (Ctrl+F)
  • Improved download speeds
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

The ability to multi-select files, upload files other than photos, and view/open files within other apps are some massive additions. Indeed, the complaints about Dropbox for Windows Phone often whirled around the feature incompleteness. Today that all ends. We have had some time with an internal beta of the new Dropbox and very much like the design and its abilities.

The Dropbox apps, which are developed by prolific developer Rudy Huyn, has clearly filled the last remaining gaps to make their app a solid choice for those who need cloud storage. Combined with their recent integration into Office, Dropbox's continued partnership with Microsoft benefits consumers all around the world.

While individuals often have a choice of their cloud storage provider, if you work for a company, those choices are made for you. This problem means if Windows Phone is going to compete against Android and iOS, its apps have to be as good, if not better. Luckily, Dropbox and their universal Windows apps have taken a significant step in the right direction, and we are glad to see them on board.

As of 12:30pm ET, Dropbox 2.0 for Windows Phone has become available to upgrade/download

Download Dropbox 2.0 for Windows Phone (Free)

Download Dropbox 2.0 for Windows 8.1 (opens in new tab) (Free)

QR: dropbox

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Yay!
  • Doesn't matter. The point made here is that they are embracing the universal apps approach, even if the underlying motive is to compete with OneDrive. After all, they could simply have ignored converting the windows 8.1 app and maintained the existing win32 desktop DropBox (which is pretty awesome btw). Of course the talk is that Rudy is behind the DropBox implementation so this is only natural...
  • "That decision has nothing to do with dropbox's perceived success or commitment to w10, wp10, or universal apps. It's not a windows or windows phone story, it's a onedrive story."
    I love my insight, actually and I fail to see your point. Or rather, I think you are being pedantic. Competing with OneDrive means being everywhere, including Windows 10 (Phone and PC), hence why they made the app in the first place. I never stated their motive, I don't work for them. I think your comments are poorly structured and fail to make your point distinct from mine. Seems you are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest. Microsoft partnering with Dropbox is good for business. Everyone's business, which is why the Office feature is great.
  • I enjoy lively discourse but it troubles me when you and the editor make personal attacks. I think that both you and the editor can make your cases without the personal attacks no matter how subtle the attacks are. I use to be a heavy reader of this site but got a bit tired of the attacks. I enjoyed your insight and I think this could be the premiere site for Windows everything but I also notice a trend that if you disagree with the editor, be ready to be dismissed etc.
  • Neither of them made personal attacks that I could see. Can you quote one or two for me please?
  • Your claim is flawed...onedrive is there on android and iOS as well...by your theory, this is a response to OneDrive and not windows as a platform, then why bother with a windows version at all..? The majority are on android and iOS, they could have responded over there... Why waste their investment here??
    Pls stop hating everything Microsoft... Nobody is gonna give a damn if your opinions are always biased...
  • Developers still have the option for their apps to be just on windows and not on windows phone. Windows phone usage is small and Dropbox could have easily made a windows 10 app and not a Universal app. Onedrive having a universal app is irrelevent because the number of windows phone users who would chose onedrive over dropbox is small. The fact that dropbox chose to make a Universal app shows that developers see value in it. If you are making a windows 10 app to reach the hundreds of millions of PC users and there is a small amount of work needed to make the app universal, why wouldn't a developer do it? The cost is minor and you get access to tens of millions windows phone users. It should be a no brainer. Instagram was designed to share pictures taken with a phone. The PC is not their target. However, if they update tehir windows phone , I bet they will make it universal. Snapchat doesn't have an app on windows at all and I don't know if they are interested in windows since messenging isn't a huge use with a PC. However, if they do make an app, I bet it will be universal as well.
  • agreed, not sure where WPKevin got all this speculation from. But he has managed to get a fair bit of airtime, for a argument or point he cannot substantiate. Its all wild hypothesis, that will never be proven.
  • If you think w10 sucks, then why doesn't Dropbox simply stop support for Windows? You have over-complicated the issue.
  • You're absolutely right.
  • Why even use the app if the Win32 version is an option?
  • If they didn't care about WP and are doing this because of onedrive they could just update the android/iOs apps with new functions to compete with onedrive.... no?
  • How can you say that they don't care about WP when I work for them :D Be sure that Dropbox loves all Windows platforms ;)
  • Because he's being pedantic. By the way, you're the best Rudy!
  • Great work, Rudy! You are truly a devoted Windows Phone dev.
  • WPKevin? ... his alias itself is fishy to me :D.... it doesnt matter what people like WPKevin says... cz we got awesome devs like Rudy here.... !!
  • I'll keep out of this. This conversation is getting heated.
  • Hey Rudy, went to the Store Beta on 10080 and installed Dropbox on a 1320 after reading this article. App just kicks me back the start screen. Anyhting you need to help diagnose the issue?
  • Cool
  • Finally! The 10 effect! Keep it up MS (Although DB might've updated because of their newly formed partnership with MS) still, Yeaaah!!
  • I'd be curious to read how long it took the developers to make it into a universal app. How easy (hard?) it was to do so as to show other big apps that they should jump on board an make their apps universal too.
  • This is all Rudy.That's why.Still waiting to see over the next three months if Devs are going to step up.
  • Ahhh, that explains it. 'nuff said.
  • More like because Rudy Huyn is the developer behind Dropbox and he's a Microsoft enthuasiast developer. No surprise here. We'll see the Windows 10 effect when we actually see companies adopt the Universal App philosphy who are not linked to Microsoft in any way (i.e. Instagram, Whatsapp)
  • Awesome!
  • Good for me, Good for you. Good for Windows 10.
  • I want that mug
  • Wait. Clicked on the link. It still shows version 1.2. Am I the only one? Edit: Read the last line (got excited just after reading the updated features. Sorry :D)
  • Thanks Rudy!
  • +1520
  • +940XL
  • Nice! But I'm all about OneDrive! :)
  • A good takeaway is that Rudy could make it without use of hamburgers. I wonder if he'll release a generator/scaffolding code to have navs (panoramic for phone, clickable for Tablet/Desktop)
  • Turns out that hamburger menus don't help any of us. It is just a poorly conceived icon that doesn't really mean anything to most people...
  • Re: SpinzeroWL,
    Yes, there are many articles that say that over and over. I even found one from that fruity company. Yet here we are, Microsoft is copying the oogle in the name of being just like them (familiarity) and to keep it simple (to code the universal interface) between PC, Tablet Computer, Tablet, Windows Phone, and ... Xbox? Maybe someday, we can expect more.
  • Yes, it is annoying.
    Having said that, my mum struggles with the idea that there is more information concealed behind the Windows Phone 3 dots thing....so I guess there isn't one winning formula!
    I do hope/wish that they would keep the menu stuff at the bottom of the screen. I don't want to have to do things the iphone way - I.e., two handed, and constantly reaching to the top of the screen! Though with all that said, I'd rather take these UI annoyances than lose WP from the mix altogether :). Apple are too expensive, and Google are too intrusive!
  • and Windows central app is yet to get the "universal" makeover since eternity.
  • Yup.
  • Yup.
  • Yup.
    And the comment links we get in mails still points to windows phone central making them unusable.
  • The links work if you click on the correct one.
  • This is the link for this comment which I got
  • The text just before that explains what that link is. But yes, the http hyperlink before the app hyperlink is rarely clickable.
  • Works fine for me every time.
  • You didn't get my point! It doesn't work on Windows 8 PC. It works on phone!
  • It's a link to the wpcentral app. Is the app installed on a Windows 8 PC?  
  • Yes! The link worlds on phone not on PC.
  • Its good to have good apps, but why would anyone use DropBox instead of OneDrive
  • Choice? Commitment? Need?
  • It's always good to have more storage, and sometimes it's good to keep them seperate. 
  • On Dropbox, I pay a little extra for unlimited versions. I've never needed it, but it comforts me.
    Also, there are people I interact with, that "know" Dropbox but not OneDrive. Yes, I don't understand it either.
  • Because DropBox is MUCH faster at uploading files. It is also quicker to sync - and I'm pretty sure it is smarter too (only doing incremental updates to the parts of files that change...rather than re-uploading the whole thing every time!).
    I want OneDrive to be excellent - I am signed up for 4 years of Office 365/unlimited OneDrive. However, trying to upload stuff is torturously slow, where DropBox is fast on the same connection.
    MS need to turn the wick up on their servers
  • Not sure i agree about speed. I uploaded about 200gb of music to OneDrive and it didnt take long at all. I do have a fast fibre connection thats sposed to be 80meg, but tests currently score at 90+ meg
  • I use both Dropbox and OneDrive. OneDrive is used for my photos, music and documents, while I use dropbox to store software, games, etc.
  • I've not used it for a few years. But I understand the business version now has peer-to-peer linking. Which is nice.
  • I smell Ninja Cat.
  • What does it smells like?
  • Killer you killed this one.... Lol
  • A lot of people here have been wining about what MS was doing the past year. It has taken some time for them to pivot, but their universal app ecosystem and full-blown computer on a mobile device strategy now appear to be absolutely brilliant. The Dropbox universal app is a harbinger of what to expect for Windows Phone in the next 6 months.
  • Yes, their pivots give a great panorama for the future, especially if Rudy can design a universal app without hamburgers.
  • Worth a read;
  • Agreed
  • Would have loved to use this if I wasn't so hooked up on OneDrive
  • Nice, I'll surely download it later. Dropbox it's nice to use, I do it along with Google drive and OneDrive.
  • Yay Daniel Rubino is back
  • From where? He was here all the time.
  • Nope. His articles started appearing only yesterday, after long. Glad he's back...
  • Rudy is everywhere...
  • Damn. I don't want Rudy in my ex's.
  • Don't worry :) But I can come in your favorite bar and take a drink together (do they serve burger menus?)
  • Thanks Rudy!
  • Hahaha you are the best my friend!
  • Rudy I would love to get some training from you for apps development. I am a CS graduate but changed the field to accounting due to some reasons.
  • Thanks to this I'll try Dropbox !
  • Any evidence that MS is in any way involved in development of this app?
  • Xbox one version of Dropbox in order to watch pictures on the TV would be a great option to OneDrive
  • I like the idea
  • Wierd partnership, but who cares. Looking forward to try this one.
  • Dropbox is currently using Amazon as backend but who knows if that's for eternity and being cozy with MS may get them some leverage when negotiating with
    Amazon. Azure would be fully capable and most likely cheaper and more reliable option than Amazon cloud which is more or less bankrupt.
  • Amem.
  • Daniel pls update the article the update is live in store now...
  • Got it. The Netherlands
  • The old design is much better than the new one :/
  • Where did you get that mug?? I want!!
  • Can it auto-upload videos yet?
  • Dropbox or Onedrive? Hit me up with opinions and reasons? I would like to know the best one!
  • Onedrive all the way
  • Dropbox for it working. OneDrive for support. A while back, I'd have said OneDrive had more going for it on the integration and cross-platformness, but MS have integrated DropBox into Office now (I understand, I've not used it). A tough call to make a decision these days. So, I'd head back to where I usually end up when it's a difficult decision - support. On that one, OneDrive wins - if Windows/Office/OneDrive screws my data up, I've only got one support call to make until I can shout at somebody.  
  • Well, it's nice that Dropbox has a universal app, but there's no evidence that other developers see such a need. There's no evidence that, say, Periscope, Pinterest or Instagram are rolling out universal Windows apps, for example (because they likely don't see the point in having their app work on somebody's PC workstation).
  • So MS should just give up? Obviously, not all apps will go to tablet/PC. Pinterest certainly could, though. For the others there will be other enticements like reusing a lot of their code, thus reducing the development investment. We might also have a larger user base in the coming months/year.
  • Ahh, The Power of 10.
  • They should have it named Windows Next (maybe the codename for the next One{if there still is})
  • Next iteration is currently, I believe, codenamed "Redstone".  
  • I'm a new user of Dropbox, I also use OneDrive, but I got an offer for Dropbox to get 20GB free on my new Dell Inspiron 15 laptop purchase. What I'm going to do by having 2 separate cloud storage services is to store personal info (photos, music, videos, documents) on OneDrive and everything else on Dropbox (software, games, etc).
  • Rudy is awesome. Thanks!
  • Here we go!
  • Yas bish
  • OneDrive is still my preferred service. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my BlackBerry Passport
  • OneDrive is still my preferred service. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my BlackBerry Passport
      That's some hardcore service-provider-mix-&-matching right there.  
  • No kidding Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • On two of my Windows 8.1 PCs, the new Dropbox is not asking me for my passcode. Going into Settings|Security to turn on passcode lock throws me out of settings. It's working fine on the phone (930), however. Anyone else experiencing this?
  • Rudy pl redesign wpcentral app... :)